I propose to take Question Nos. 19, 26 and 30 together.
As part of the rationalisation of the Meteorological Service described in my reply to Questions Nos. 5, 6 and 25 it is proposed to close the weather observation station at Renmore, Galway and to transfer the training function from Galway to the headquarters of the Meteorological Service in Dublin. As in the case of Roches Point, the Galway station has no formal role in the dissemination of meteorological information. Furthermore, it is planned to install an automatic observing system in the Galway area and accordingly routine climatological information will continue to be available to those who require it.
I am satisfied that there will be no diminution in the quality of the forecasts as a result of the new arrangements.
The training school in Galway has been seriously under-utilised in recent years and I am assured that the training function can more effectively be carried out in conjunction with the Meteorological Service's research activity at its headquarters in Glasnevin. The idea of developing a degree course in conjunction with University College, Galway, never came to fruition because of financial constraints on the university. As recruitment to the Meteorological Service is likely to be at a low level for the foreseeable future, the concept of developing a degree course is no longer viable.